At Paddington Station Preschool, we have so many opportunities to witness the joy of learning and play. So, we want to share and appreciate some of the special moments, words of wisdom and celebrations within our community.
Letter from a 7-Year Paddington Family:
- Dear Paddington Team,
Our youngest child is getting ready to graduate, and we just wanted to thank you for helping our children grow up and for helping us grow up as parents. We’ve learned so much from the way Paddington respects, honors and celebrates the unique qualities of each child.
- Our children have always been able to feel this respect, this love, and Paddington teachers are flat-out amazing. Paddington makes you feel welcome, comfortable, and happy – to the point where you don’t want to leave.
Paddington has been a huge positive part of our lives for the past seven years. It is impossible to overstate how important the school has been to our family.
Thank you for everything!
Jemima Puddleduck Classroom PreK Graduation Speech:
- First, I want to say thank you. THANK YOU to everyone that is here today in support of our little Puddleducks making the next step into their great BIG future.
- Your support… LOVE… laughter… flexibility… and understanding has carried us all to this day, and I simply could not have done any of this without you.
This is an especially hard year for me to say goodbye. Some of these babies have been with me for two years. We have gone from 3 to 5 in a blink of an eye. We got a new batch of preK Puddleducks… and what was once the perfect class became even better. A class, with children and families that every teacher dreams of having. If I had my way, I’d retire this year. I would pack it all up, dust off my hands, and say… It doesn’t get much better than this…
But I know… there is still work to be done and I know that I have the best job in the world.
I have the best job in the world and I consider myself lucky.
I consider myself lucky because every day I get to hug a child… tightly.
Everyday I get to hold someone’s hand or wipe away a tear.
Almost every day someone tells me that I’m the best teacher in the world… or that I’m a beautiful princess.
I consider myself lucky because I listen to their laughter, and their silly jokes. I listen to rhymes that don’t make sense to me, but can erupt a whole lunch table into sweet giggles.
I am greeted everyday with a smile.
I watch as they learn to solve problems, to speak their mind, and stand up for themselves.
I see amazing things every day: creativity, self-expression, courage, and authenticity.
I see paint and glue to the heart’s content. I see bikes zooming past me as fast as can be. Arms reaching to climb a tree. Hands digging the deepest hole. I see MUD splashing, paper airplanes flying, and more MUD splashing.
I watch everyday as these children learn to take risks, and then how they pick themselves up time and time again… with bravery and strength of mind.
I hear “Look what I can do!” everyday… and “I did it!” “I did it!” as I witness growth happening before my very eyes.
I live in a world where stories, puppets, and songs are still magical… where imagination is alive and glitter makes the world go round.
I consider myself lucky because I have a team. A team that works together, looks after one another, and grows together.
Everyday I get to play.
Everyday I see connections being made, a whole wide world being discovered, and dreams in action.
I am lucky because I have a very full bucket.
I even consider myself lucky to wipe little noses and tie shoes, take temperatures, and bandage owies.
I get to wipe sweet tear when they cry, put band-aids on scraped on knees, and help to make everything feel better.
I’m lucky because I sing everyday. I dream everyday. I laugh, I’ve cried, and I know what it means to help a child grow.
I consider myself lucky for so many reasons, but the most important of all are these 18 little hearts you have entrusted into my care.
I am lucky, each and every day, to be a part of your child’s life… and I thank you.
Now, we will hand out the diplomas and, with this flower we honor all that you, families, have done to support the learning, growth, happiness and health of your little one here today, and hope that you promise to help him/her on this path.
Third-grade Essay written by Paddington Graduate, Stella Meister:
- Going to Paddington Station Preschool made me who I am. The teachers became family. I learned so many things, but most of all, Paddington taught me to love learning. All of my earliest memories were made at Paddington. The teachers knew me for who I was and always had a joyful smiles on their faces and were ready to play or help.
- One of the most memorable parts about Paddington was the amazing activities. No matter what, every single day I walked into my classroom, there would be something for everyone to do. I still remember the day we made paintings with fish. My teacher went to the store and came back with real fish. They were dead of course, but still had the eyeballs and all. Everyone in the class was freaked out. There were squeamish giggles everywhere and everyone was excited to find out why we had dead fish in our classroom. When she brought out print trays everyone was even more excited. Later, she explained that we were doing fish paintings. The teachers snapped on latex gloves and started dipping the fish onto the paper, leaving fishy scale prints on it.
The very next day all of our fish paintings were hung up on the wall for everyone to see. The best part about Paddington was the activities, even if I lacked artistic skill, as I still do now, every teacher had awesome activities that brought out the artist in everyone.
I know that it is a little thing, but one part about Paddington that I loved was nap time. Everyone knows that in preK no one takes naps anymore so my friends and I just considered it quiet time. After washing up after lunch, we would sit in our cubbies and wait for the teachers to dismiss us in a fun way. We would get our special stuffed animals and blankets from our backpacks and get settled and cozied up with blankets tucked in tight. Our teacher would read aloud from “The Magic Treehouse”, diving into the adventures of Jack and Annie as eyes grew heavy all around the room. I think that nap time kind of represents the vibe of Paddington. Peaceful and laid back.
The thing that I probably remember most about my preK year though was the units. I remember how our dramatic play area would transform into different things depending on what we were studying. When we were studying camping, it would have a tent and sleeping bags. For our medical unit, there was a table and scrubs. I also remember how when we were studying artists, we did a community Jackson Pollack painting. The teachers hung liter bottles of paint with holes in them from a tent frame and put a big piece of paper in the middle of it. Then, we took the bottles and pushed across the circle, leaving splatter paint behind. That is what I love about Paddington; they always figure out a way to incorporate play with learning.
Even to this day we still visit Paddington. I am always greeted with huge hugs and, “oh, you’re getting so big!” Because of Paddington, every day I am excited to learn and I love to do so. Paddington Station Preschool always believed in me and believed that I could do great things. Because of that, preK was my favorite year.
Johnny Townmouse Classroom PreK Graduation Speech:
- Thank you all so very much for coming to support and celebrate these amazing Johnny T’s. It has been a truly remarkable school year – I am so proud of how much the children have grown, and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with each of them and each of your families. From day one after I watched their first choice-time clean up, I knew this was going to be a special class, and it has continued to grow into an exceptional learning community and family as the year has gone by.
- Your children inspire me every single day. Their creative thinking, problem-solving, brilliant imaginations, snack-time table-discussions, silly senses of humor, authenticity and candor make coming to work an absolute joy. I want to honor each of you as parents – it is because of your hard work that your children are who they are. You have raised amazing humans who have deeply influenced my life. Thank you for sharing them with us.
Last week, as I wrote in an e-mail to families, we started talking about Kindergarten and all the feelings we were having as we think about the big change ahead – myself included. We also read the book Courage by Bernard Waber, from which I’d like to read a passage:
“Courage is riding your bicycle without training wheels for the first time. Courage is being the first to make up after an argument. Courage is sometimes having to say goodbye. Courage is what we give to each other”
After I read those last pages to the Johnny T’s, we shared a poignant moment as we discussed how big transitions require much courage. I am confident after spending the past nine months with your children, that they will approach this next transition with great heart, and even more bravery.
So today, we celebrate all their hard work from this past year, and their willingness to jump into the challenge ahead with authentic courage – we can all learn from them!
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